Business Planning

Tips for Making Better Business Decisions

As a business owner, you are faced with many opportunities and decisions that can affect your business’ strategic direction. It can be difficult to make the right decisions when you are so emotionally invested in your business.  As such, it’s important for you to develop a sound process for making business decisions.

Take Some Time

As entrepreneurs, we often move quickly and rely on our gut instinct. However, making quick decisions can result in costly mistakes. Instead of diving right in, consider taking a step back and spending some time to think through the different scenarios and outcomes for your business.

Gather the Facts

To be able to make a good decision, you need to have all the facts about the situation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can get a full view of how the decision might impact your business. You don’t want to miss critical information that might affect how you operate and grow your business.

Go Back to Your Business Plan

You created a business plan to be your roadmap for building the business. It should outline the mission, vision, values, as well as goals and strategies for the key areas of your business.  Go back to that plan and evaluate whether the decision is in alignment with the mission and vision and, how it fits with the goals and strategies.

Look at the Numbers

Most decisions will have an impact on your business’ finances. Be sure to analyze the financial aspects of the decision, including the direct costs of the decision and opportunity costs of your time. Also, evaluate the long-term impacts of the decision on your business’ financial forecast to determine whether the outcome is sustainable for the business.

Ask for Advice

It’s helpful to have other perspectives. Talking it over with a family member, friend, mentor, or other business owner can help you see your blind spots and give you more insight into how the decision might affect your business and personal life.

Consider Timing

Consider whether your decision needs an outright yes or no. The opportunity may be a good fit with your business’ mission and vision, but you may not have the time, staffing, financing, or other infrastructure to follow through on it right now. As a result, you might put the opportunity on hold and revisit it at a later date.

Commit to It

If you’ve taken the time to go through a sound decision-making process, it’s important to trust your decision and not give into your fear of missing out right away. Give yourself enough time to see how the decision plays out, monitor progress, and then determine if you need to re-evaluate it.